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Also: Time Warner upgrades iPad app, Verizon expands advanced IPG rollout, judge stamps Dish-TerreStar deal, NCTA fights AllVid
July 8, 2011
Happy Friday, cable gang. Buzz about apps and guides for navigating pay TV dominate today's roundup.
Android fans are rejoicing amid word that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has added Gingerbread and Honeycomb support for its Xfinity TV app, which turns devices into fancy remote controls and lets subs manage their DVRs remotely (PCs and Apple iPads already have access to the app's newer Play Now feature). (See Press 'Play Now' on the iPad.)
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has launched the 2.0 version of its Apple iPad app, expanding access to north of 100 live TV channels and adding a remote DVR manager as well as a feature that turns the tablet into a remote control. The MSO says users have downloaded its app more than 600,000 times so far. (See TW Cable Flirts With Full IP Video Simulcast and Cablevision, Viacom Fight Over iPad App.)
Look for TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) to target Android devices more broadly after launching an app for Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED) subscribers in the U.K. who use the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) OS.
A judge cleared the way Thursday for Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH)'s $1.37 billion "stalking horse" bid for TerreStar Networks, getting Charlie Ergen & Co. a step closer to cinching a deal that would give Dish access to a swath of coveted wireless spectrum. (See Dish Stalks TerreStar and Charlie Ergen's Spectrum Grab .)
National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) chief Michael Powell tried to pound another nail in AllVid's coffin Thursday in a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski that put forth a laundry list of recent cable efforts, such as TV Everywhere deployments and direct deals with TV manufacturers, that, Powell believes, provides evidence that there's no need for additional government-led mandates aimed at spawning an open retail market for set-tops and other video devices. Cable wants to kill AllVid, viewed as a successor to the CableCARD, before it becomes a full-fledged rule-making effort.
Hawaiian Telecom unveiled a pay-TV service that includes a DVR with four tuners, but the telco wouldn't say where it will begin to challenge Time Warner Cable, the state's incumbent cable op.
Time Warner Cable opened a regional sales center near Albany, N.Y., and will move 135 inbound sales jobs from other parts of New York and Maine to the facility in Colonie, N.Y.
— Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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